25 Aug 2016 09:50am
KATIMA MULILO, 25 AUG (NAMPA) A task team of senior headmen and community members will soon be set up to look into the severe water crisis in the Linyanti constituency.
The water crisis in the constituency in the Zambezi Region is a result of the Linyanti perennial river drying up due to poor rainfall in the region for the past four years. The river served as a water source for communities and domestic animals living along the banks and tributaries.
On Tuesday, during a community meeting at Kapani village, constituency councillor Cletius Sipapela said a task team will be set up to look into the grievances of community members from the different villages in the area.
The task team will also ask that boreholes be drilled by Government in the dry riverbeds to ensure a supply of water that is fit for human consumption, as the water currently in the riverbeds is dirty and not fit for human or domestic animal consumption.
Our aim of meeting with the community was to see how the government can assist them. Yes, as a regional government, we have listened to their plight, and it is up to us now to say how we are to assist these people, said Sipapela.
He added that the water being drawn from the old boreholes is salty, making it difficult to drink. There is thus a need for new boreholes to be drilled in the dry riverbeds.
Most of the inland communities are surviving on water drawn from boreholes for the past two financial years. The current operating old boreholes cannot yield the right quality of water as it was found to be salty and this constituency also does not have any new boreholes, hence we plead to get some soon.
The local communitys cattle drink from a pond that contains muddy water. Wild animals from neighbouring Botswana also drink from the pond.
The problem is so severe. The cattle are at risk of contracting foot-and-mouth disease from buffaloes and elephants from neighbouring Botswana. These wild animals roam into Namibia by crossing the dry riverbed, Sipapela said.
James Lizazi, an aggrieved community member, called on Government to hasten assistance to Linyanti residents.
He said animals in Namibia are further suffering as there is not enough grass to graze, and as a result, some of the cattle cross over into Botswana, where they end up being detained by the Botswana Defence Force or attacked by lions.
We need help fast. Our animals are at risk of dying due to drought and lack of water, and so are the lives of the people living in this constituency. We need Government to bring earth moving equipment to come and drill where the river was running for us to get clean water, said Lizazi.